The Importance of Truth in Marketing

This week saw Domino’s pizza chain make its ‘biggest announcement in 20 years’, preceded by an extensive social media and TV teaser campaign. They said they’d listened to their customers and that they’d ‘pushed themselves to respond’. They said it would be big, that it would be a ‘game changer’.  Around the office, even those of us who do not frequent this particular pizza chain couldn’t help feeling mildly curious as to what they could possibly have come up with that would redefine the category.

The big announcement turned out to be a range of pizzas with square bases and new toppings. Unfortunately for them, the news fell rather flat among many of their customers who took to social media to respond, voicing their disappointment that the announcement did not live up to the hype they had created.

Domino’s share price dropped that day and the company seems to have gone into damage control mode with the CEO (who fronted the ads) personally answering questions on Domino’s Facebook page. The overwhelming question from Domino’s customers is ‘how is that a game changer?’ The question on our minds is ‘how did that get through the marketing department of a global giant like Domino’s?’
It highlights to us the importance of truth in marketing – an age-old concept but never more relevant than today, in a society that loves to scrutinise big companies and when it has never been easier for consumers to talk back. Let’s give Domino’s the benefit of the doubt and assume that they really did believe that this would be a game changer and that their customers would be thrilled. A simple round of good research  - customer feedback - would quickly have revealed that not to be the case and a rethink ordered. 

Truth in marketing is not what we as marketers think; it’s what our customers believe.